What Do Numbers on Hairclippers Mean

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What Do the Numbers on Hair Clipper Guards Mean?

If you have ever sat down in a barber or hairstyling chair and been asked, "What number?" you might have been a little confused. The number refers to the guard that is used on the clipper that the barber/stylist uses to cut the hair.

Each number is equivalent to 1/8 of an inch.

Number #1 on sides, Number #4/5 on top


 Zero is not using a guard attachment on the clipper at all. It leaves stubble equivalent to a day or two of beard growth.

Numbers One and Two

 A number one clipper attachment leaves hair an 1/8th of an inch long in the clipped area. Generally the scalp is clearly visible when using a number one clipper guard.

The number two clipper is used to leave hair a 1/4 of an inch long. Usually, unless the hair is unusually thick, there will be some scalp exposure with the number two clipper guard.

Numbers Three and Four

 The number three clipper guard leaves hair 3/8 of an inch long. Depending on the thickness of the hair, there may be some scalp visible with a number three clipper guard.

The number four clipper guard leaves hair 1/2 an inch long and is one of the most popular clipper guards. It gives the appearance of the hair being clean cut, and the scalp cannot usually be seen at this length.

Numbers Five and Six

 The number five clipper guard is 5/8 of an inch long, and is generally indistinguishable from the number four visually.

The number six guard for the haircutting clipper leaves hair 3/4 of an inch long. It is sometimes used on the top, and is often used to blend shorter to longer clipper lengths from the side to the top.

Number Eight

 There is no number seven clipper guard, mysteriously enough, so that brings us to number eight.

It leaves the hair 1 inch long and is often used on the top, while a shorter clipper guard is used on the sides.